DIR EN GREY’s New Mini-Album THE UNRAVELING Released Today

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Japan’s best progressive metallers, DIR EN GREY are releasing their new mini-album, THE UNRAVELING simultaneously in Japan and Europe today on OKAMI Records. The album contains seven tracks in the digital version, and better yet, there will be a physical edition released across Europe in the very near future which will contain four more tracks.

Just two months after the release of their last single, RINKAKU, this album continues to flex the bands’ muscles style wise. With a heavy, complex sound this mini-album is a good continuation from their last full album DUM SPIRO SPERO and strong follow up to the surprisingly gentle RINKAKU. Lead track, Unraveling is especially impressive with some brilliant guitar leads and a deceptively simple melody.

There is a perfect balance with this album between frantic heaviness and more solemn, slower tracks. The second track, KARMA, is super hardcore with a drum rhythm like a bulldozer and deep, speedy guitar. In contrast, other songs are more gentle and have cleaner vocals, or a mixture of both within one track. There is also a mixture of styles, alternating drum-heavy, bass-heavy and guitar-lead tracks, which prevents the standard metal procedure of one song running into the next. At one point, there is even a strange dive into some very mellow accoustic guitar (Unknown.Dispair.Lost), but it soon tumbles down very quickly into some glorious dark and sticky metal once more.

Constant changes in tempo and style make this album. Another shining features is the grand finale, a re-recording of the 2004 single THE FINAL. Unlike their re-recording of Kiri to Mayu on their last single, this re-recording is not a complete re-working but rather the band seem to have gone to some lengths to recreate the style of the original recording. As THE FINAL is one of the greatest tracks in DIR EN GREY’s discography, it’s amazing to hear it given this new lease of life.

After their year of silence in 2012, DIR EN GREY seem to be making a very impressive comeback, bursting back onto the scene with a cascade of great music.

The physical CD release promises to bring a further four tracks of awesome, and don’t forget that DIR EN GREY will also be touring Europe in June with a UK appearance at DOWNLOAD Festival.

DIR EN GREY - THE UNRAVELING - Artwork

Title: The Unraveling

Tracklist:
1. Unraveling (4.42)
2. KARMA (3.43)
3. KASUMI (4.08)
4. KARASU (5.36)
5. Bottom of the death valley (6.25)
6. Unknown.Dispair.Lost (4.47)
7. THE FINAL (4.15)

Release Date: 3rd April, 2013

Available from: iTunes, CD Coming Soon

 

New Single From DIR EN GREY: RINKAKU, Released Today!

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DIR EN GREY have been very quiet since the release of their album DUM SPIRO SPERO in 2011. And we’ve been missing them and their huge tours, fantastic live shows and top quality metal. Well they’re finally back in Europe with a new single, RINKAKU (Japan release: 19.12.2012). The new single contains three tracks; the lead track, RINKAKU, a re-recording of Kiri to Mayu (a track originally from their 1997 album MISSA) and a remix of RINKAKU by Akira Yamaoka.

With a discography spanning decades, and a penchance for changing their style in big ways, every new release from this band is a new experience, and it’s not always good. With this in mind, we curiously hit play and listened hard with bated breath.

We’re glad you’re back, DIR EN GREY, because this single is awesome.

The lead track, RINKAKU, is disarmingly calm at the opening, with an ethereal quality. Things quickly escalate, though; complex guitar, relentless bass and incredibly intricate drumming all feature alongside vocals which sound almost inhumane. Creepy and extreme, the vocal line of this track soars high into the upper reaches of your hearing. And weirdly, it sounds incredible. Known for experimenting with his style often, vocalist Kyo really brings this track into something special. His experiments haven’t always gone well in the past, but this track is just irresistible.

The second track is equally exciting. With all of that calm creepiness going on in the lead track, this single needed something to bring it back down into the deep and dirty depths again. Kiri to Mayu brings it down so hard, you won’t know what hit you. We can hardly remember the original of this track from 1997, but it certainly sounded only a little bit like this new, big, brutal, raging version. The vocals take an alarming dive into incomprehensible screaming, thrashing and tearing through the whole track. This is thrash metal at its best, and this must sound truly awesome live.

Finally, the Eternal Slumber Mix of RINKAKU returns restless calm. Probably the least attention grabbing of the three, this track was mixed by Akira Yamaoka, famed for his work on music from the Silent Hill game series. Many of the elements from the original track remain, but there is more creepiness and less thundery guitar. After the truly outstanding quality of the remixes from DUM SIRO SPERO, this doesn’t really compare. However, we’ll settle for the other two tracks making this single more than worth it.

It only took three songs and we’re already itching for much more, and maybe even another European tour…

DIR EN GREY - RINKAKU - Artwork

Title: RINKAKU

01. RINKAKU (5:41)
02. Kiri to Mayu (3:53)
03. RINKAKU [Eternal Slumber Mix] (5:24)

European Release Date: 1 February 2013

Available From: iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Spotify.

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